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Why was chariot racing so popular?

Ancient historians believe that chariots were used in around 2000 BCE. The origin is traced to Mesopotamia and was later adopted by other civilizations as well. Apart from their use in warfare, these were used to entertain the masses by the use of chariot races with high stakes. Byzantine Empire and Romans started the races to display their social ranking and political power. One of the famous recorded versions of a charioteer was Roman - Porphyrius, who raced during 5 to 6th century CE.